~ This blog post is an adapted excerpt from a sermon by Brad Ettore. You can hear the whole sermon, The Role of Humility in Our Lives (part 1), from Agathos Church – a non-denominational Christian Church in Columbus, Ohio by clicking here.
We ended the last blog post with a story from Numbers 12 which contrasted pride (Maraym and Aaron) and humility (Moses). Some of us may notice a bit of condemnation creeping into our thought process as we hear about humility – don’t do that! Condemnation is NOT the intent of teaching on humility. Quite simply condemnation kills. This is NOT about condemnation. It’s just about trying to develop an understanding, knowing that the Truth will set you free. For instance, look at this scriptural progression:
The Fear of the Lord —> Humility —> Wisdom
You will find humility is on your way to wisdom. Now, let’s see some scriptures that begin to communicate God’s thoughts on the topic of humility:
The ear that hears the rebukes of life
Will abide among the wise.
He who disdains instruction despises his own soul,
But he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.
The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom,
And before honor is humility. (Proverbs 15:31-33)
He who heeds rebuke gets understanding! Proverbs 6:23 says: “Reproofs of instruction are the way of life.” WOW! Reproofs are supposed to be THE way of life for us! Note, reproofs therefore are not a sign of God being mad at us! In fact, reproofs from God are RE-PROVING God’s love for us! Proving again His love for us! Check out Proverbs 3:11-12:
My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor detest His correction;
For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.
When we were a child, we were reproved often by those that loved us. The older you get and the higher you go in leadership, the more you need to provide specific invitation to those who are going to speak into your life. This does not mean to invite correction from 100 people. Simply choose to keep yourself surrounded by 2, 3, or 4 people who can give reproofs of instruction to you! This is the foundation of discipleship.
Proverbs 12:1 makes it even more clear: “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” That clarifies it! Personally, I don’t want to be stupid. You can choose if you want to be. That said, if I do not LOVE instruction, I am stupid! Now, you may often think “I am fine with instruction,” but do you seek it out? Do you look for it from trusted friends and family? From the Word of God? We should LOVE instruction! What a great encouragement!
Now, humility is about a recognized need. Dependency would be closely related. Pride starts with separation from our source. 1 Corinthians 4:7 says “what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” Often we are in the business of receiving and then dis-associating . . . allowing someone else to dress us up and then acting like we bought the suit! Stay dependent on the One that clothes you in righteousness! Stay dependent on those in authority in your life to bless you, correct you, and address things you may need to adjust. “Reproofs of instruction are the way of life!”